Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1069–1078 | Cite as

Patterns and sources of leaf tannin variation in yellow birch (Betula allegheniensis) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

  • Ian T. Baldwin
  • Jack C. Schultz
  • Dale Ward


Leaves from forest-grown sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) and yellow birch (Betula allegheniensis Britt.) trees were analyzed for four tannin measures (hydrolyzable and condensed tannins, total phenolics, and protein binding) at three times during the growing season. Fifteen-year-old half-sib sugar maples from four provenances, representing the geographical extremes of the sugar maple range and growing in a common garden, were examined for the same traits. We found no significant geographic or seed source component to variation in three of the four tannin measures. We found significant seasonal changes in both birch and maple leaf tannins. Withincanopy leaf tannin variation tended to obscure differences between trees in maple, but in birches between-tree differences in leaf tannin content were more readily found. We also found a significant negative correlation between leaf protein binding capacity and leaf wet weight.

Key words

Acer saccharum Aceraceae Betula allegheniensis Betulaceae tannins phenolics variability 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian T. Baldwin
    • 1
  • Jack C. Schultz
    • 1
  • Dale Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Pesticide Research LaboratoryPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park

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